"A welcome tribute to the persistence, precision and humanity of Washington Roebling and a love-song for the mighty New York bridge he built." -The Wall Street Journal
Chief Engineer is the first full biography of a crucial figure in the American story-Washington Roebling, builder of the Brooklyn Bridge. One of America's most iconic and recognizable structures, the Brooklyn Bridge is as much a part of New York as the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building. Yet its distinguished builder is too often forgotten-and his life is of interest far beyond his chosen field. It is the story of immigrants, the frontier, the Civil War, the making of the modern world, and a man whose long life modeled courage in the face of extraordinary adversity.
Chief Engineer is enriched by Roebling's own eloquent voice, unveiled in his recently discovered memoir, previously thought lost to history. The memoir reveals that his father John-a renowned engineer who made his life in America after humble beginnings in Germany-was a tyrannical presence in Roebling's life. It also documents Roebling's time as a young man in the Union Army, when he built bridges that carried soldiers across rivers and saw action in pivotal battles from Antietam to Gettysburg. Safely returned, he married the remarkable Emily Warren Roebling, who would play a crucial role in the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, Roebling's grandest achievement-but by no means the only one.
Elegantly written with a compelling narrative sweep, Chief Engineer introduces Washington Roebling and his era to a new generation of readers.
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